Alex is stuck. Stuck in Essex. Stuck in his childhood home. Stuck in a job he hates. The relationship he'd been counting on all these years has finally fallen apart. He's run out of things to hope for. Anxious, uncertain and totally sober, Alex is dragged to the Outer Hebrides by his long-suffering friend, James. Somewhere between the mountains and the sea, Alex is desperate to find something to ignite a spark of life in him again. Through castles, ceilidhs, bothies, lochs, vast beaches and tiny boats, chance meetings and old friends, Alex has to learn that maybe taking responsibility doesn't mean the end of feeling free.
My review of Waves
Waves is the debut novel by Jared A. Carnie and what a beautiful book it is.
The novel revolves around Alex and how he finds himself alone and lost in the world, in terms of his personal life, work, and personal identity. This book is about Alex finding out who he is and his place in the world.
The book begins by telling us about Alex's recent breakup with his long term girlfriend. His best friend James, whose family now live in the Outer Hebrides, comes to Alex's rescue and the two young men find themselves temporarily living in this beautiful part of the world. A place where Alex can plan his future and face his demons.
For me this book was pure escapism. I loved the descriptions of the beaches, the locals and Scottish life in general. The pace of life was much slower, more gentle and this impacted greatly upon Alex and the changes that he needed to make in his own life. Together with the calming scenery, fresh air, the love of James's family, and his friendship with Isobel, Alex finds himself being able to reflect and rebuild his life.
This is very much a coming of age novel but for grown ups. This type of novel usually focusses upon young women, so it was very refreshing and interesting to read a novel that focusses upon the inner struggle of a young man who is trying to come to terms with who he really is, and what he needs to be.
Waves is beautifully written and a gentle, slow paced read. It's a book to savour and is very much character driven. I liked Alex and this I feel is hugely important, as you need to both like him and to root for his future for this book to have meaning and resonance.
This book is such a joy to read. It's full of hope and the fact that change is always possible, no matter what your circumstances. I look forward to reading more by this author.
With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a review copy.
Waves was published by Urbane Publications on 15 Sept. 2016 and can be found on Amazon here.